News update:Jan 20, 2010

Pilgrim's Pride implementing automation initiatives

Poultry processor Pilgrim's Pride has installed automatic deboning equipment in two plants and has plans to add more at other facilities throughout the year.

Automation plans were first announced by the company during its fourth-quarter earnings call in November, citing labour shortages.
Pilgrim's Pride plans more installations through the third quarter at the company's new plants in addition to increased further processing capacity expected online, says Chief Operating Officer J. Clinton Rivers. "We still have additional equipment coming in and installations at other facilities," he said.
At one of the locations with new automatic deboning equipment, the COO stated that yield had improved relative to previously experienced staffing inefficiencies. At the other facility, he said the company is experiencing lower yields than with manual deboning, but operating efficiencies have improved there.
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